The question was simple and basic to Royals general manager Dayton Moore prior to Thursday’s series opener against the Los Angeles Angels at Kauffman Stadium.
What are the Royals going to do to get out of a 4-13 slide?
Moore starts by saying what they won’t do.
“You know how people panic?” he asked. “We’re not going to panic. We’re not panicking. We are not panicking. I’m not going to make excuses for young players. I’m just not.
“I’ve seen a lot of them come up and do well. But we do have a lot of them in the lineup ... We’ll be all right.”
The Royals optioned struggling reliever Kelvin Herrera to Class AAA Omaha prior to Thursday’s game, but Moore suggested the same move is unlikely at this point for third baseman Mike Moustakas or any of the club’s underperforming position players.
“Pitchers are different from position players,” Moore said. “First of all, it’s very difficult for a position player to ever develop beyond their level of competition.
“If a position player goes down to Triple-A and has success, that doesn’t mean he’s going to come back up here and have success. For position players, a lot of it is getting to know pitchers.
“The best major-league hitters oftentimes struggle against pitchers they’ve never seen before. A lot of it is learning the league and seeing a certain quality of pitch. That’s going to develop them more than anything else.
“There is no major-league model in the minor leagues. There’s no substitute to learning to hit major-league pitching. You’ve got to face it.”
Moore also declined to offer a timetable on the club’s patience with veteran outfielder Jeff Francoeur, a pending free agent who carried a .226 average into Thursday’s game.
“You’re always looking to improve your roster,” Moore said, “but it’s still very early. It’s the same team that we left spring training with. It’s the same team that was 17-10.
“We’ve got (118) games left, we’ve got a lot of baseball left, and we’re going to remain patient with the guys we have. I like the potential of this group.”
In short, Moore intends for the Royals to stay the course.
“As long as players are working hard and remain confident,” he said, “and the coaching staff remains confident they’re going to get through it, I’m going to be very patient.
“You can’t go into spring training feeling great, if you’re honest with yourself, and then leave spring training feeling good about your team; then feel good about your team through the first 30 games and then ... in the next 15, you’re going to just panic?
“You might as well get out of the business. Get out of the game. We’re going to stay positive, and we’re going to expect to win. We’re going to expect to get better. That’s what we’re going to do.”